About the Choir
Hesperos is a project-based chamber choir, based in London, for experienced singers of choral music but who, for the most part, pursue other careers. The choir is made up of singers who love singing choral music, but who are willing to explore new and unusual music alongside well-known repertoire.
The age-range of the group is mostly in the early 20s to mid-30s bracket. However, all age groups are eligible and welcome to apply, and we welcome recent graduates and postgraduate students.
Typical experience and expectations of choir members:
- Musical training and good vocal technique. Many of us were very involved with singing at university, or have sung extensively in university, collegiate, or cathedral environments, or in other well-established choirs. We look for singers with good sight-reading skills and who are confident holding a line one-to-a-part if needed.
- Willingness to get involved in decision making and running the choir. There is a small committee, and an AGM at the beginning of every year. It is otherwise entirely run by volunteers from within the group, with a varying but not insignificant workload. While this is not required of every singer, we pride ourselves on allowing members to have a high degree of input when it comes to planning future projects.
- Singers are expected to honour commitments to projects, to stay in contact with the committee, and to look through music between rehearsals, especially if rehearsals are missed.
- Involvement in social side of the choir. The choir often goes to our local pub after rehearsals, we often have choir meals after concerts, and occasional social events.
About 14 members of Hesperos sing in all projects, with others dropping in and out subject to availability. We also have a separate list of deputy singers.
Our rehearsals currently take place on Tuesdays evenings, 19:30 - 21:15, in the church of St. Francis of Assisi, Notting Hill, close to Holland Park tube station.
On average concerts are about 10 rehearsals, and services are typically 1-2 rehearsals only. While many of our singers have busy lives, and unexpected clashes with work and life do occur, singers need to let the director know in advance whether they cannot make a rehearsal, so that rehearsals can be planned accordingly. In order to work on a project, singers need to commit where possible to at least half of the rehearsals.
We ask our members to look over music between rehearsals to ensure familiarity, to ensure that rehearsals are not taken up entirely with ‘note-bashing’.
What does a Hesperos year look like?
- 3 to 4 London-based concerts per year
- At least one choral evensong (Westminster Abbey, Salisbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Kilburn), and occasional services (All Souls, Advent services, etc.)
- 1 away weekend in the UK (e.g. Yorkshire Dales, Norfolk)
- Carol-singing in central London
- At least one choir social event, usually in the summer
- Occasional workshops with local schools, usually once a year
There is a sub/membership fee to be a member of the choir. This has risen over the course of the pandemic, to cover rehearsal space hires, to £35 per concert. However, our current policy allows for a reduced fee, in discussion with the director. All services (mostly choral evensong) are free of charge.
Some members make an occasional donation to the choir, via the Friends scheme or directly. This has been a great help over the last few years, when concerts became difficult during Covid - it has helped Hesperos hire music and continue to use our rehearsal space in Notting Hill.
We are intending to move towards no membership fees within the next couple of years.
Arrange an audition
If you are interested in arranging an audition, please send a CV and brief email to Charlie Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill in our contact form. Auditions are relaxed and informal, and take place before a Tuesday rehearsal.